The Intimate Life of Dissent

Anthropological Perspectives

Edited by Harini Amarasuriya, Tobias Kelly, Sidharthan Maunaguru, Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, and Jonathan Spencer

ISBN: 9781787357778

Publication: September 01, 2020

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The Intimate Life of Dissent examines the meanings and implications of public acts of dissent, drawing on examples from ethnography and history. Acts of dissent are never simply just about abstract principles, but also come at great personal risk to both the dissidents and to those close to them. Dissent is, therefore, embedded in deep, complex and sometimes contradictory intimate relations. This book puts acts of high principle back into the personal relations out of which they emerge and take effect, raising new questions about the relationship between intimacy and political commitment. It does so through an introduction and eight individual chapters, drawing on examples including Sri Lankan leftists, Soviet dissidents, Tibetan exiles, Kurdish prisoners, British pacifists, Indonesian student activists, and Jewish peace activists.

The Intimate Life of Dissent will be of interest to postgraduate students and researchers of anthropology, history, political theory and sociology. Written in a clear and accessible style, it is also suitable for teaching introductory undergraduate courses on political anthropology.

Harini Amarasuriya is Senior Lecturer in Social Studies at the Open University of Sri Lanka.

Tobias Kelly is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.

Sidharthan Maunaguru is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the National University of Singapore.

Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

Jonathan Spencer is Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh.


1. Introduction: the intimate life of dissent 

Harini Amarasuriya, Tobias Kelly, Sidharthan Maunaguru, Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, Jonathan Spencer  

2. One is the biggest number. estrangement, intimacy, and totalitarianism in late Soviet Russia

 Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic

3.  Dissent with/out resistance? Secular and ultra-Orthodox Israeli approaches to ethical and political disagreement 

Erica Weiss

 4. Friendship behind bars: Kurdish dissident politics in Turkey’s prisons 

Serra Hakyemez

 5. Intimate commitments: friends, comrades and family in the life of one Sri Lankan activist

 Harini Amarasuriya and Jonathan Spencer 

 6.  Dissenting conscience: the Intimate politics of objection in Second World War Britain

Tobias Kelly 

7.  Friends with differences: ethics, rivalry and politics among Sri Lankan Tamil former political activists

 Sidharthan Maunaguru 

8. The Intimacy of details: a Tibetan diary of dissent

 Carole McGranahan 

9. Dissident writing and the Intimacy of the archive in authoritarian Indonesia 

Doreen Lee


Format: Open Access PDF

Copyright: © 2020

ISBN: 9781787357778

Publication: September 01, 2020

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